Marching Orders

Dr. Doug Posey  

Imagine yourself standing before the Lord on that day when you see Him face to face. You deeply long to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Then, before Christ speaks, you flash back on your life and wonder, “Well done? What about my life was really well done enough for Jesus to commend me? If He says, ‘Well done,’ exactly what would He be talking about?”

Then, in rapid succession, memories of your walk with Christ begin to pour in. You remember that you had a fairly consistent quiet time with the Lord. Is that what He might be talking about? That pesky bad habit, the sin you committed a lot but consistently confessed, well, you knew that was forgiven, covered by the blood. You recall pretty regular church attendance; could that be considered “well done”? You tried to be a faithful giver, actually tithing from time to time (when you could afford it); will that qualify? The memory of times you volunteered to serve in various capacities returns; wouldn’t that make you a “faithful servant”? If He says, “Well done,” just what will He mean?

Suddenly there comes a recollection of something specific He said to do. You realize it wasn’t about personal devotions, church attendance or even financial giving. It had nothing to do with being a basically good person. It didn’t relate to your favorite systematic theology or the number of verses you memorized from the Bible. The fact that you always stood on the right side of moral and political issues doesn’t fulfill this ultimate mandate of Christ. Jesus’ directive never even mentioned the Ten Commandments!

Turns out, it was what you knew as “The Great Commission.” For you, perhaps it was something to be emphasized during “Missions Week” at the church. You’d heard some decent sermons on the topic, but pictured Jesus’ words as applying to those who have the gift of evangelism or feel called to engage in foreign missions. For some reason, you had not taken His commission as applying directly to you. It was such a monumental challenge:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…” (Matt. 28:19-20).

Did you believe He was only talking to those guys within earshot of Him on the day He said them and not to you? After all, isn’t that what the Apostles did in the book of Acts, when the church was being established? That was important then, but the average modern-day Christian has more pressing things to think about—things more appropriate to our time—like having a high self-esteem, or ensuring a successful marriage and family, or making sound, biblical financial decisions, or finding a church where you really like the music.

As these thoughts race through your mind, unexpectedly you hear Jesus speak. Instead of the words, “Well done…” He simply says, “Well?” and you realize He is inquiring as to how seriously you took His Great Commission. As the Supreme Commander, He had given you your marching orders. Unfortunately, you realize that you were mostly AWOL.

Thankfully, for our sakes, that day when we see Jesus face to face is yet to come. The time He has given us—while we still have life and breath—is time to begin being about His Great Commission. If, from this point forward, you do nothing else with your Christian walk but to go make disciples and teach them to obey Jesus, you will have finished well.

“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” —REVELATION 5:9

Living Oaks